Morley 122 all out

Keighley 123-4

KEIGHLEY extended their lead at the top of All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League Championship One following a six-wicket win over much-fancied second-placed Morley.

Keighley captain Paul Quinlan won the toss and as per the last three equations, asked the opposition side to bat first.

Morley made a bright start, with their skipper Matthew Baxter especially in fine form.

However; with the score on 39, Jamie Wilmshurst (1-15) made the first breakthrough, removing James McNichol for 11. Then when Baxter was removed by his opposite number Quinlan for 39, the collapse began.

Last season Quinlan was the ultimate star of Keighley’s bowling show; this year, though, he has much more help, whether from James Rogers, Wilmshurst, overseas signing Alex Antoine, but now as well Dillon Birkett, recently promoted from the seconds.

In tandem, the bowlers tore through the Morley batting line-up, bowling them out for just 122 in the 45th over.

Quinlan finished with 2-12 off 12 overs, however, Antoine (3-46) and Birkett (3-15) took the accolades.

The Lawkholme Laners, who have already this season successfully chased down all three totals they have faced, once again started in careful but positive fashion.

Despite the continuing absence of injured star batsmen Richard Gould, wicketkeeper Adam Smith has been more than happy to step up into the openers slot alongside Luke Chapman.

The pair constructed a careful opening partnership of 31 before Smith was bowled for 21.

Chapman was then trapped for 14 with 51 on the board. However, the damage had been done and good contributions from Louis Horsfield (29 not out) and Johnny Wilkinson (33no) saw Keighley over the line by six wickets and giving them a nine-point lead at the top of the Championship early season. On Saturday they host Ossett at Lawkholme Lane.

Meanwhile, a once again depleted Keighley II hosted table-toppers Northowram at Lawkholme Lane.

Winning the toss, Keighley skipper Alex Towler invited the away team to bat first.

The seconds' struggles this season so far have come about due to injuries and absences from the first team as well as key players like Ben Jagger and Sam Murphy being unavailable due to university.

Despite this, Keighley got off to a great start having Northowram on the rack at 69-4.

However, a fabulous knock of 101no from Ben Grech and a blistering 69 from 45 deliveries from the returning Hami Shahzad were the thorns in Keighley’s side as the away team posted a commanding 274-7 in their allotted overs.

Pick of the Keighley bowlers was Harry Barker with figures of 3-56.

Despite an early knock back, Keighley batters Jack Beetham and Ahtasham Raza posted a fine second-wicket partnership of 89.

Sadly, Beetham (52) then Raza (34) were removed in quick fashion and the remaining Keighley batters were unable to mirror their performances as they stuttered to 171 all out.

The seconds hope to get back to winning ways this week at Ossett.